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  1. In the early 80's, keyboards on 'lower-end' computers left many users wanting improvement. The TI-99/4A did not have the worst keyboard out there, but there was still room for improvement. One company of the era took up the challenge, but I'm sorry to say, it missed the mark a little... Image of Rave keyboard 'liberated' from: << this Mainbyte article >>. The Rave keyboard was an improvement of sorts, but the technology of the time was larger, requiring that the user remove the TI's keyboard. The connector on the Rave keyboard also stuck up like a sore thumb, and in my opinion, ruined the TI's sleek looking appearance. A few years back, one of the TI-Gods known as "Tursi" designed a neat little keyboard adapter that was small enough to fit inside the TI... with the keyboard! If that's not enough, you even have the flexibility of mounting your connector anywhere you want. If you would like to read more about this device on Tursi's website, go << HERE >>. Here are some closeup views of the device I'm using in my TI-99/4A... (CLICK ON IMAGES TO RADICALLY ENLARGE VIEW) After you install the device, your TI will pretty much look the same, with the exception of the connector. I mounted mine on the left-hand side near the rear of the computer as seen in this photo below. If you want to see all the photos of this project, go to my gallery entry << HERE >> I've made up a couple of PS/2 keyboard overlays, available for download in the attachment below. These two photos will give you an idea of what they look like in use. First version (single row) Second version (three row) This turned out to be one of the nicest upgrades ever, which was a little unexpected, but after I started using it, it all made sense. You see, the TI console is not the easiest to move around or into a good position, with the 'fire hose', monitor cable and power cables ALL hanging off the unit. The PS/2 keyboard uses one little cable and can easily be moved around, and after all these years, most of us are used to PC keyboards. This is an upgrade/modification that I recommend to anyone who is not a purist that requires a stock system. After all these decades, the TI is still evolving and improving. TI-PS2 Overlays.zip
  2. Hi all, I was given a 7800 a few years ago minus it's power adaptor. I recently did an experiment to allow it to work with another adaptor of the same rating, but modding the connection. I've made a video on my YouTube channel showing how I did it. Please leave any constructive comments ) Video: Best regards Steve
  3. So I picked up a "non-working" CV from eBay ($25, bundled with 2 OEM controllers, power supply, and Illusions). The also-bundled RCA output cable was severed and frayed at the end. Powered on, tested all 4 connections, voltage checked out. No picture with replacement RCA (using a RCA-to-coaxial adapter; love those things). Concluded it was the RF modulator, so I decided to give Ben Heck's composite mod a try (http://www.benheck.com/Games/Coleco/Video_Mod.htm). It worked!...with two unexpected results (both may be unrelated to the mod, I'm not sure). 1. There is about a five-second delay after the console powers on, after which the ColecoVision title screen has about a three-second fade-in. After fade-in, the picture and colors are as clear and perfect as composite can give me. I'm using a 32" Toshiba CRT; all other consoles using composite output don't have this picture delay. The micro-potentiometer in my mod is turned up all the way. I should also point out that I tested the mod's circuit, and all components--including the video out--were getting the proper voltage (~12V DC). Is this a normal/typical "side effect" of the Ben Heck mod? Or is there something wrong/off with one of the components? 2. I noticed these stray, square sprites in fixed positions in a few of my games. (See attached pics for reference.) I first noticed a couple of them in the rivets stage of Donkey Kong... and then I saw a couple on the level start screen of Illusions.... It was then that I inferred they might be appearing in the same places regardless of the game, and that they won't appear on a black/"null" background. And then I put in Zaxxon.... Eureka! There looks to be a vertical row of these sprites, evenly spaced, across the entire height of the screen. Has anyone seen/solved this issue before? Thank you each for your time and help with this one. Love ya, appreciate ya.
  4. I'm entering that danger zone of the afternoon mental wall, so please forgive me if this has been discussed ad nauseum on the forum to little or no avail... But has anyone ever entertained the notion of coming up with an Atari 8-bit API (Atari Peripherals Index) that mod developers could use to allow programmers to identify add-ins and modifications of any given computer...? I picture it in my head as some sort of index that would work during the boot process, when the DOS or OS would do a cursory check of a pre-determined index in memory somewhere once the mods/add-ins are initialized. Each device would have an assigned API ID that, if found, sends the DOS or OS over to a special table where it would find allocated memory usages, device ID, and any other relevant information that could become accessible to the programmer either through the API vector, or direct (and risk later incompatibilities). This would have the added advantage of allowing multiple add-ins play nice with each other since the index and table assigns/allocates their respective memory addresses. It'd be the closest thing to an Atari PNP operation, too. Just a random brainworm... --Tim
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